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Allergy boy, ten, dies in his school playground.

Byline: Sarah Probert

A ten-year-old boy who suffered from a severe dairy allergy died in a school playground yesterday minutes after having his lunch.

Habib Khan, from Small Heath, Birmingham, had returned from his hour-long lunch break at home when he collapsed in the yard at Somerville Primary School at 1pm.

He was injected with an epipen, held at school for emergencies, and paramedics battled to resuscitate him for more than half an hour before taking him to Heartlands Hospital where he was pronounced dead.

His mother is in Bangladesh but his father, Noor Ali Khan, rushed to the scene as Habib was being lifted into an ambulance.

Speaking from the family home last night, Mr Khan said he was devastated.

The 46-year-old said: 'Obviously this is a very distressing time for our family and we are just trying to support each other at the moment.

'Habib was taken from us very suddenly and we are very upset.

'He was a much-loved little boy whose mother and myself and his five brothers and three sisters cared for greatly.'

Parent governor Shaid Hussain said: 'Habib complained of feeling unwell shortly after arriving back at school from his home where he had had lunch.

'He told one of the school's dinnerladies that he felt sick and she helped him into the building to see the nurse.

'While he was in the medical room he lost consciousness and collapsed and paramedics were called straight away. We waited for the ambulance to arrive -they were very quick, here within ten minutes.

'They attempted to resuscitate Habib for more than half-an-hour before he was taken to hospital. 'While Habib was being transferred into the ambulance, his father arrived and was shouting at them 'what had they done with his son', and yelling at staff.

'He seemed very confused and did not know what was going on because he spoke very little English.'

Members of staff at the 750pupil school were told the news during a special half-hour assembly at 3pm yesterday.

Teachers, including deputy head Nigel Baynes, were later interviewed by police.

Mr Baynes was in charge of the school while headteacher Richard Hornsby was on a conference trip in London.

A spokesman for the local education authority said: 'All the staff and pupils are extremely distressed and their thoughts and sympathy are with the pupil's family at this time.

'When he became ill all appropriate procedures were immediately followed including injecting him with the epi-pen held at school for emergencies.

'Paramedics arrived within ten minutes but unfortunately were unable to resuscitate him.'

A West Midlands Police spokeswoman said they were called to the school but only after receiving reports of there being a 'sudden death'.

The school was expected to open as normal today.
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Publication:The Birmingham Post (England)
Date:Feb 26, 2004
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